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Saturday, November 2 • 11:15am - 12:30pm
Breakout 3.05: Crossing Boaders in Religious Education

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The L’Arche Habitus: A Way of Being That Builds Unity in Difference
Elizabeth Barsotti (Boston College)

Research Interest Group. [Paper] L’Arche is a community whose way of being is centered around relationships of mutuality, specifically with people of diverse abilities. Through the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s (1930-2002) concept of habitus, this paper probes how community shapes a person’s way of being. It unpacks the unique way L’Arche approaches community to demonstrate how particular aspects of the community facilitate building unity in a divided society. The paper will conclude with four insights from L’Arche that are applicable to other communities who seek to build unity in difference.

Curriculum of Spiritual Friendship: Learning for Mutual Witness within and across Borders of Religious and Spiritual Traditions
Julia Yingnan Ji (Teachers College, Columbia University)

Research Interest Group. [Paper] Central to authentic dialogue within and between different groups with diverse religious and spiritual traditions is learning and growth to balance and appreciate identity and diversity. Learning for mutual witness is a key task. This study seeks to explore how this mutual learning and witness undergoes in the space created by spiritual friendship. How this multi-layer of friendship with God, self, and others nurtures (1) spiritual identity and spiritual maturation and (2) authentic dialogue at three levels: intra-personal, inter-personal and inter-group within and across religious borders.

Cyber Church: Creating New Spaces for Persons with DisAbilities
Leslie Long (Oklahoma City University)
Sara Martin ()

Research Interest Group. [Paper] Students used the book Networked Theology to begin a discussion about the role of technology and ministry. Students worked together with the goal of examining how to make social media more accessible to people with disabilities. Although practicality was important they looked deeper-how can the church use social media to reach out in a meaningful way to people who are often overlooked or set aside? Are we missing the mark when it comes to the use of technology for engaging people of all abilities? This paper explores issues of community, ministry and outreach.

Keywords: accessibility, community, difference, disability studies, diverse abilities, learning, mutual witness, spiritual friendship, technology, theology, unity.


Dennis Gunn

Iona College


Elizabeth Barsotti

Boston College

Leslie Long

Oklahoma City University

Sara Martin

Student, Oklahoma City University

Saturday November 2, 2019 11:15am - 12:30pm
Algonquin D

Attendees (8)